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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘MR’

State Dept. Cites 12,000 Rockets in 12 Years as Justification for Israel’s Choice of Self Defense

Friday, November 16th, 2012

The fallout of the Arab Spring continues, and the winter dance performances are complex indeed.

Newly installed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is firmly in the Muslim Brotherhood camp, but as the ruling leader of a vast country with gaping economic, political and religious divides, he may not be able to take the kind of expected hardline against Israel that might be expected.

Today, November 16, President Morsi sent his Prime Minister, Hesham Kandil, on a “humanitarian mission” to Gaza.  Kandil was traveling with a small delegation, but given the wracking poverty of so many in Egypt, it may be hard to justify a big showing of charity to outsiders.  In addition, Hamas is the sworn enemy of the Egyptian old guard military and security forces, and Morsi needs to keep the displeasure of those groups in check.  Complicating matters still further, is what is on the current dance card of U.S. President Barack Obama.  While many either congratulate or blame U.S. President Obama for ushering out former Egyptian President Hosnai Mubarek, and thereby helping to usher in Morsi, at the moment the Obama administration is firmly playing the role of Israel supporter, committed to Israel’s right to self-defense and unequivocally casting Hamas as the party in the wrong in this November 2012 Gaza-Israel War.

Yesterday’s State Department and White House Spokesmen’s press conferences left no ambiguity.

Mark Toner, at the State Department:

MR. TONER: Anyway, let’s go to your questions, Matt.

QUESTION: Let’s start with the situation in Gaza and Israel. The Secretary made a call yesterday or took a call from the Egyptian Foreign Minister; is that correct?

MR. TONER: That’s correct.

QUESTION: What was the content? What was the message?

MR. TONER: Mm-hmm. Well, I mean, obviously, as I said, she did speak, as you noted, with Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr yesterday. I’m not sure what time, frankly. In the convoluted time zones that she’s in versus us, I’m not sure what time of day it was. But her core message was that we need – the necessity of a de-escalation of the ongoing situation and an end to the violence. That’s what’s most important here. And for –

QUESTION: And based –

MR. TONER: Yeah, go ahead.

QUESTION: I’m sorry. Go ahead.

MR. TONER: No, no. You go ahead.

QUESTION: Well, based on that conversation and also on what you know, what you may know, about the President’s conversation with President Morsi –

MR. TONER: Correct.

QUESTION: – do you think that Egypt is going to do the right thing here, or do you have the sense that they’re going to? What was the response from the Egyptians? It’s –

MR. TONER: Well, I –

QUESTION: Because publicly, their response doesn’t seem to be very consistent with what you’re asking of them.

MR. TONER: I think – and in fact, the White House has issued in a readout of the President’s calls yesterday – both we and the Egyptians agree there needs to be a de-escalation, and we urged the Government of Egypt to take steps to support that kind of de-escalation.

QUESTION: Such as?

MR. TONER: Well, obviously, using their influence in the region. But we want to see, obviously, a de-escalation of the violence. We need to see the violence to -stop. We need to see Hamas stop its rocket attacks on Israel so we can end the violence.

QUESTION: Okay. And the other day, I asked you whether or not the United States spoke to – or not spoke to, but had messages delivered to Hamas to knock it off, if you’ve used Egypt or Qatar, particularly since their Emir just visited Gaza, to send a message to Hamas that these rocket attacks have to stop whether or not they are actually firing them or not. I was told and – or I was led to believe that the answer is no, that you don’t pass any messages on to Hamas through third parties; you don’t talk to them yourselves. And I’m curious; is that correct? And if it is, why? Why not?

MR. TONER: I’m not sure – again, I’m not sure – you’re talking about what I told you in terms –

QUESTION: No.

MR. TONER: – of my response? Okay. I think what I said was that – at the time was we certainly do convey our concerns, certainly to Egypt as a regional leader, as someone who has influence in the region. We convey our concerns and we consult closely on them whenever there’s this kind of outbreak of violence.

US State Department Still Refusing to Say Jerusalem Is Capital of Israel

Friday, September 7th, 2012

First we learned that the traditional pro-Israel language affirming that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel was deleted from this year’s Democratic Party Platform.  Then, after waves of negative publicity, the Democrats re-inserted the magic language in a balagan that will be remembered as one of the most chaotic moments in political party convention history, despite the lack of an obvious 2/3s majority.  In less than an hour, Democratic National Committee Chair Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fl) was saying, with a straight face, that of course it was the position of this administration, as it always had been, that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

And Wasserman Schultz insisted that the position of President Obama has always been that Jerusalem is and always will remain the capital of Israel.  What’s more, she stated in numerous interviews, that it was President Obama who made sure that the language be re-inserted into the platform.  Never mind that Wasserman Schultz has, throughout this campaign, adamantly supported the State Department Spokeswoman and the White House Press Secretary’s refusal to name Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

But we’re not done yet.

Less than 24 hours after the “Jerusalem is the capital of Israel” language was reinserted, this administration has once again shifted course.  In today’s State Department’s daily press conference, the United States officially refuses to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Daily Press Briefings : Daily Press Briefing – September 6, 2012
09/06/2012 04:12 PM EDT
Patrick Ventrell
Acting Deputy Spokesperson Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
September 6, 2012

TRANSCRIPT:


12:52 p.m. EDT

MR. VENTRELL: Okay, good afternoon. Welcome to the State Department. We have with us some diplomats who are headed out to be spokespeople at some of our embassies overseas, so welcome to the briefing, to all of you. I don’t have anything else, so I’ll turn it over to you.

Go ahead.

QUESTION: On Israel?

MR. VENTRELL: Yeah.

QUESTION: Which city does the U.S. Government recognize as the capital in the – Israel?

MR. VENTRELL: Well, as you know, longstanding Administration policy, both in this Administration and in previous administrations across both parties, is that the status of Jerusalem is an issue that should be resolved in final status negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. So that’s longstanding Administration policy and continues to be so.

QUESTION: I mean, no city is recognized as a capital by the U.S. Government?

MR. VENTRELL: Again, I just stated our position, and it’s one we’ve said here many times before.

QUESTION: That means Jerusalem is not a part of Israel?

MR. VENTRELL: What it means is that the status of Jerusalem must be resolved in final status negotiations.

QUESTION: But you do have an Embassy in a city which is not Jerusalem.

MR. VENTRELL: Our Embassy is in Tel Aviv, and we have a Consulate General in Jerusalem.

QUESTION: Right. But I mean, if you have an Embassy, usually it’s in the capital; so therefore, it would appear that you believe that Tel Aviv is the capital.

MR. VENTRELL: What we believe is that the status of Jerusalem should be determined in final status negotiations between the two parties. And currently, our Embassy is in Tel Aviv.

QUESTION: Are there any other countries in the world where the U.S. doesn’t know what the capital is or won’t say what the capital of a country is?

QUESTION: What does the U.S. think the capital of Israel is? What do you –

MR. VENTRELL: As I’ve just said, we believe that the status of Jerusalem is an issue that should be resolved in final status –

QUESTION: I’m not asking you that question. I’m asking you what you think the capital is.

MR. VENTRELL: And my response is that Jerusalem is an issue that should be resolved in final status negotiations.

QUESTION: She didn’t ask about Jerusalem, though.

MR. VENTRELL: Look, this is something we’ve been through at this podium. Toria has been through it before. We’ve repeated it many times. You know that the position is. It hasn’t changed for decades.

QUESTION: Wait, I know that. And I don’t want to play the verbal game, I’m just very curious if you actually have a position about a capital of that country. And if you don’t, if – I just would like to hear you say you don’t.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-state-department-still-refusing-to-say-jerusalem-is-capital-of-israel/2012/09/07/

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